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Guaido won't rule out US intervention in Venezuela

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido wants President Nicolas Maduro to step down. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

Venezuela’s self-proclaimed acting president and speaker of the National Assembly Juan Guaido will not rule out the possibility of US intervention to force President Maduro from power.

In an interview with the AFP news agency, Guaido said he would do “everything that [was] necessary... to save human lives,” acknowledging that US intervention was “a very controversial subject.”

Guaido launched a bid to oust Maduro last month, declaring himself the interim president. His claim was recognised by the US and around 40 other countries, including 20 from the European Union.

“We’re going to do everything that has a lower social cost, that generates governability and stability to deal with the emergency,” the 35-year-old Guaido said.

Guaido is trying to bring in food and medicine from the US but supplies are stuck in warehouses in Colombia as the Venezuelan military has blocked their entry.

Guaido said 300,000 people could die if desperately-needed aid isn’t brought in.

Maduro vows to block “fake humanitarian aid”

President Maduro has termed humanitarian requested by Guaido as “fake” and vowed not to let it in. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Speaking at a press conference in Caracas on Friday, Maduro said, “Venezuela won’t allow the spectacle of fake humanitarian aid because we’re no one’s beggars.”

He also hit out at European and Latin American ministers who called for a new presidential ballot.

Meeting in Uruguay's capital Montevideo on Thursday, the International Contact Group urged “free, transparent and credible presidential elections” in crisis-stricken Venezuela “as soon as possible” to find a peaceful solution to the power struggle between Maduro and Guaido.

Under Maduro's leadership, Venezuela has descended into economic chaos marked by hyperinflation, recession and shortages of basic necessities, including food and medicine.

(with AFP)